SBIR PD 2002
PD Section-by-Section Analysis - Section 10
Section 10 of the Policy Directive describes in detail the annual report each participating agency must submit to SBA on the SBIR Program. One commenter stated that section 10(b)(7) seems to conflict with an earlier statement in the Directive that states agencies must report only cases in which the cumulative Phase I and Phase II guideline of $850,000 are exceeded. Another commenter argued that agencies should not have to report this. The Directive is clear that agencies are required to report and justify any Phase I award exceeding $100,000 and any Phase II award exceeding $750,000. Although the Directive permits agencies to exceed these dollar levels where appropriate for a particular project, these instances must be reported and justified to monitor the program and ensure there is no abuse.
Two commenters questioned why agencies have to, pursuant to section 10(b)(8), report when a Phase I process exceeds 6 months, especially since the Policy Directive permits the process to take up to one year. While SBA recognizes that an agency may not be able to meet the 6 months from solicitation to award period in all cases, that time frame remains as the standard that all agencies should work toward. SBA requires this information because it is charged with monitoring the program, including ensuring the solicitation and award process is performed in a timely and fair manner.
Section 10(b)(9) of the Policy Directive states that the agency must instruct a Phase III awardee to provide the name, address, project title, and dollar amount obligated. One commenter questioned whether the agency has such authority and another stated that the agency already has this information. SBA amended this section to require each agency to provide this data.
Section 10(b)(10) requires the agency to report when only one proposal is received. One commenter believed this is unnecessary and a burden on the agencies. The commenter believes that it may encourage agencies to reduce, rather than maximize, the number of topics and subtopics. SBA disagrees. In order to maintain the competitive nature of the SBIR Program, agencies should assess the number of proposals received for a given topic or subtopic and use this information to determine if they should continue funding this technology in future SBIR solicitations. In addition, the Policy Directive requires each agency's annual report to contain justification for any award made under a topic or subtopic where the agency received only one proposal. Collection of this information on a quarterly basis, and updated in the agency's annual report, is necessary to meet informational requests quickly.
One commenter stated that agencies should report the duration of the SBIR-funded tasking prior to Phase III award and the lapsed time to award for Phase III. The commenter stated that in some cases, Phase II awards exceed five years to award date from close of the solicitation, but SBIR provided about 30 months of funded effort. SBA believes that agencies should ensure that the time period between Phase I and Phase II, and between Phase II and Phase III, are kept to the absolute minimum, based on agency needs and requirements.
One commenter argued that it is unnecessary for agencies to report when companies receive more than 15 Phase II awards. SBA notes that this requirement, set forth in section 10(b)(11) of the Policy Directive, is a corollary to the requirement in the Act that an SBC that has received more than 15 SBIR Phase II awards in the last 5 fiscal years must, in its Phase I proposal, provide certain data, including the current commercialization status of each Phase II award. Therefore, it is not an unnecessary requirement.